In Memory of Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson)
"I have simpler tastes. I like to kill my enemies, take their gold and enjoy their women. That's it. Why tie yourself to one?"
I know far more about Titus Pullo, the fictional character than Ray Stevenson, the actor that brought him to life. Pullo, along with Lucius Vorenus, played by Kevin McKidd, found themselves in the midst of every significant point in Roman history in the latter half of the first century BC. In the fictional account, Pullo was even the true father of Julius Caesar's son with Cleopatra, Caesarion.
Ray Stephenson died at 58; I knew him from other roles, like Volstagg in the first three Thor movies and Kill the Irishman. But he will always be Titus Pullo to me. Like many other fans of the HMO miniseries Rome which ran for two seasons. I hoped for another season, even though Vorenus was most likely dead after suffering severe wounds. Season two ended with Pullo and his son, Caesarion, walking through a busy street in Rome as Pullo was about to explain that he was Caesarion's actual father.
Actors come and go, and only occasionally does the loss of one hit home to where I have to write something to get him/her out of my mind. I've never searched for other Stevenson roles to watch him in. Truthfully, I didn't like him as Volstagg, not because of his acting, but because they didn't give him enough to do. Volstagg was always a punchline in Thor, and the character deserved more.
I rewatched both seasons of Rome not long ago, and I'll watch them again soon, this time accepting there will never be a season three. I suspect Lucius Vorenus was supposed to be the series' hero; he certainly provided the moral center. But Pullo was the heart, and Stevenson gave great depth to a role that might have been a caricature.
I will miss Ray Stevenson; there are dozens of films he played in I've yet to watch, and I look forward to seeing him pop up. In the meantime, THIRTEEN, in honor of the Roman legion he loved.